'Angelica's Law' Aimed At Drivers With Suspended Licenses Inked

Peggy Spellman Hoey

Originally published in Patch LI on .

GARDEN CITY, NY — A law named after a Sachem teenager killed in a crash with a car driven by a driver with multiple suspensions was inked by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday in Garden City, officials said.

Angelica’s Law, named after Angelica Nappi, decreases the number of prior license suspensions needed to qualify for first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, from 10 to five.

It makes the offense punishable of up to two years imprisonment with a possible fine between $500 and $5,000.

Nappi, of Holbrook, was 14 in 2008 when she was struck and killed by a driver who did not have a valid license and who had more than five previous driver’s license suspensions, according to officials.

The law aims to keep drivers with prior suspensions off the road by applying a felony to repeat offenders who drive vehicles without a valid license after having committed five or more moving violations resulting in prior suspensions or revocations, Hochul's office said.

Sen. Kevin Thomas said that at a time when there is "an alarming rise in fatal crashes" across the island, "endangering people of all ages," he is thankful to Hochul for enacting Angelica’s Law, for Nappi "who had her life cruelly taken."

"Today is a triumph for Angelica’s mother, Dawn, who has fought to make our roads safer for over 15 years in her daughter’s memory because she knew these changes were possible and necessary," he said. "These changes will send a clear message to drivers who repeatedly break the law that they will face severe consequences for their criminal actions. Preventable deaths such as Angelica's have been caused by reckless and dangerous drivers – and they must be taken off the road.”

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